The Religious Education curriculum is based on the Pedagogy of Encounter, which invites the students to do more than simply learn facts and content. It invites them to reflect on what these facts mean for them and how they are significant for their way of being in the world. There are four areas of learning in Religious Education: Faith, Story, Witness and Wisdom. A thematic approach to the teaching of Religious Education equips them to develop a depth of understanding of the mystery of God as expressed in the Catholic faith. The Religious Education program also provides the students with opportunities for participation in prayer, in liturgies and in spirituality days.
Masses and liturgies
Our school’s role is to support the parents in their role as the first and primary educators of their children. St Patrick’s is an integral part of the parish community of Jesus the Good Shepherd, East Lake Macquarie. At various times throughout the year, we encourage the families — Catholic and those who are not Catholic — to celebrate Mass with our broader parish community. On special occasions, such as feast days and Mothers’ Day, the students have opportunities to participate in school-based liturgies.
The Sacraments of Baptism, Penance, Confirmation and Eucharist are parish-based programs complemented by the classroom units of work in Religious Education.
Each year, two senior students are elected by their peers to the role of Leader of Mission. These students exercise their leadership primarily through Mini Vinnies, which involves doing good works in the community, but is also about young people meeting to talk, to share ideas and concerns, and to support each other. Throughout the year, Mini Vinnies organises fundraising activities to support charitable organisations. Our preferred charities are Caritas, Catholic Mission and the Mary MacKillop Foundation.
The Vinnies model of “See, Think, Do” is a great way to get young people thinking and talking about their spirituality. Connecting their beliefs and values with service activities and issues in their community can help students make their faith real, meaningful and relevant. We embody the charism of the Josephite Sisters and Mary MacKillop in “never see a need without doing something about it”. The role of the Leaders of Mission is also to lead the school community in prayer on various occasions.